HC Deb 14 March 1843 vol 67 cc876-7
Sir Charles Napier

rose, to ask a question of the noble Lord the Secretary of the Colonies on a subject which he had mentioned to the noble Lord last evening, and which he would repeat. About two months ago one of the mail packets to the West Indies had delivered its mail at St. Kitt's, and had gone about five miles from Basse-terre, when a gentleman went up to the captain and asked where they were going, and on being told to St. Thomas's, stated that he was the Governor of St. Kitt's, and that it was impossible for him to go on, and that he must be landed at Basse-terre. The captain said, that it was impossible that he could go to Basse-terre, but that the gentleman could be landed at the point. Accordingly, a boat, with a midshipman and four or five men, was launched, and was pulling towards the point, when the governor insisted upon being landed at Basse-terre. The midshipman told him that he had orders to the contrary, and could only go to the point. An altercation took place, and the governor told the midshipman that if he did not go to Basse-terre he would fling him overboard, suiting the action to the word. The boy swam round, laid hold of the rudder, and was hauled into the boat. The governor again insisted on being landed at Basse- terre, and declared if the midshipman did not take him, he would fling him over board again. The youngster said he should do no such thing, but should land him on the point. The strokesman then interfered, told the gentleman, "We know no governor here, our only governor is that youngster, and if you attempt to throw him overboard I will cram this oar down your throat." The consequence was that the governor was landed on the point, but the steamer was gone. Finding this the youngster landed, got some bread and some water, and a sail: be gallantly stuck up his sail and ran up 200 miles to St. Thomas, and picked up the ship. He (Sir Charles Napier) had this report from the highest authority, and if this act had been done by the governor, he thought it highly necessary that he should be unshipped. Had the noble Lord inquired into the truth of the statement?

Lord Stanley

said, that no information had been received by the Government of these circumstances, or of anything like them. In consequence of what the gallant officer had stated last night he had made inquiry whether there was any official report; but, as he had told the gallant officer last night, if the gallant officer would give him his authority for the statement, he would take care that no time should be lost in ascertaining the facts.

Sir Charless Napier

had told the noble Lord that if, when the vessel came home, a regular report was laid before the Directors, and if the noble Lord would send for the managing Directors of the Company, he would learn all about it.

Subject at an end.